I think one of the hardest tasks I’ve ever had to perform as a homeowner was selecting an exterior paint scheme (actually two in a period of about 3 months). I mean it’s not like there aren’t options: Tools (to help you with options), and even practical knowledge, tips like painting a small swatch of the house as a test. (The last tip seen in the article – Exterior Restoration :: Siding Paint and Windows.)
But it’s just that color is so subjective… and when you bring two strong-willed, kinda-opinionated folks (like my wife and myself) to the table, … heck, I mean – heck. When picking an exterior color scheme, I learned that you must pay attention to other more “permanent” fixtures of the home, things like the foundation, or the windows, the roof, or even the surroundings. These elements in place make it easier to decide.
But flip that script. What if you are replacing, oh, say, the roof? Maybe it’s a little easier, selecting color there, and especially so if your home is gladly clad in stone or brick. So you’d think, wouldn’t ya… or wait, is it? There are some things you do need to consider when selecting roof colors to complement brick or stone exteriors. These, brick or stone, are fixed element(s) … I would say.
Understanding Brick & Stone
Understanding the different color pigments of brick and stone features are paramount to selecting the right roofing colors. According to color expert Kate Smith, a “top down” approach is needed. Select roofing colors that will unify a home’s exterior.
“People will often say they have a red brick exterior, but it’s impossible to leave it at that,” says Smith, chief color maven at Sensational Color. “Different bricks have different color casts. There are brown/black, red, pink, tan/buff, gray and white/cream color casts of bricks used on homes. It’s critical to determine the main color and the underlying color cast of your brick. This helps you select the appropriate roofing color.”
Smith, who specializes in color matching home exteriors with polymer slate and shake roofing tiles from DaVinci Roofscapes, suggests that homeowners looking for a new roof make it a priority to first identify the main color and the cast color of the brick on their home. Once that is done, Smith offers these tips for adding a new roof to homes with specific brick color casts.
Matching Brick with Roofing Colors
#1 – If the cast is tan, gold or brown, then the roof will look better in a warm color or a blend of tiles that includes the cast color.
#2 – Select cooler hues or gray in the roof color blend if the cast of the brick is gray on the home. Gray on the roof can enhance the appearance of bricks.
#3 – A white cast to brick adds a softening effect, and a mid-tone roof color rather than a darker one makes an excellent choice.
#4 – A multi-color blend in a roof that includes at least one color similar to the brick color can complement brick siding. Roofing blends can include two to seven colors. So it’s easy to find a blend that pulls out the primary color cast of the brick.
Matching Stone with Roofing Colors
When a home exterior displays natural stone as a primary feature, the roofing color selection process follows the same general game plan as it does for brick.
“First, identify the color cast of the stone,” says Smith. “Generally you’ll find it falls into the color zones of gray, bluish gray, gold and peach. Identify the main color common denominator. Then look for roofing in a color or color blend that include this same color. By using consistent colors in fixed features, each element will visually blend in a pleasing way.”
Smith notes that various stones have softer or harder “looks” based on their size, symmetry and the way they are placed on the home. Various stones also have patterns based on the number of colors within the stone, their size and symmetry. “The pattern of the stone and the roof should not compete for attention,” says Smith. “If the stonework is ‘busy,’ then select a roof with fewer color variations. If there are fewer patterns in the stone, then having a multi-color blend can add a very distinctive look to a home’s exterior.
“As a great example, a Bellaforté Slate Gray roof can accentuate the depth and contrast of multi-hued and multi-sized fieldstones. However, a flatter stone with more diversity, such as limestone, can ideally be matched with a Bellaforté Slate Cambridge Blend. The key is to visualize how the home will look from the top down. Meaning – the color combination starting at the roof and then flowing down to the sides and key exterior features.”
Synthetic Roofing May Yield Wider Color Options
To help homeowners select the best exterior color combinations for the home, Smith has authored a 30-page FRESH Home Exterior Colors guide. The free downloadable tool is designed to make it easy for people to choose color palates that complement the exterior of the home.
Don’t get frustrated. DaVinci Roofscapes for example offers 49 roofing colors and 28 blends of roofing options so that homeowners can find the color combination that works best for them. Plus, a a section dedicated to color inspiration allows homeowners to create a custom blend at no additional charge.
DaVinci Roofscapes has manufactured award-winning synthetic slate and shake roofing since 1999. The polymer roofing tiles are virtually maintenance free and far more cost effective than the natural product. For additional information visit www.davinciroofscapes.com.
For more from on us on Roofing, please see our top level category – Roofing. We cover selecting an asphalt roof color in the article – The Benefits of New Roofing. Linked above, you may also see our article – Helpful Hints for Choosing Exterior Colors. Cheers. ~jb
All images via DaVinci Roofscapes.